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Mirrors calls for more volunteers

Mirrors Programme coordinator Kimberley Jackson

The Mirrors programme, which aims to change the lives of Bermuda’s young people through training and coaching, is in need of more volunteers.

Now in its ninth year, the programme has helped around 1,350 youngsters and trained more than 2,000 adults, according to the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports, which works in conjunction with the Mirrors staff.

But the organisation is calling for an additional 104 adults to support the initiative for 2016.

“The impact of our volunteers on the young people we work with is tremendous,” said programme co-ordinator, Kimberley Jackson.

“Our young people make significant progress when they are attached to a healthy adult who supports them, listens to them and holds them accountable to their word. Our work is intensive, which is intentional to produce positive results.”

According to a Government statement, the programme continues to be successful in the areas of criminal justice, education, self-esteem and goal attainment.

Two years’ post-programming data reflect that 98 per cent of participants are law-abiding citizens, and 82 per cent are engaged in achieving their high school education or have achieved it already — indicators that Mirrors participants are making and sustaining positive changes in their lives, added the statement.

But Ms Jackson said, “behind every success story at Mirrors are volunteers from the community — a group of people who are passionate about our young people and took on the challenge of being trained in coaching and being a consistent presence in the life of a young adult.

“As a Mirrors volunteer you can share your skills and experience to help create a generation of self-aware young leaders,” added Ms Jackson. “You could volunteer today and inspire for a lifetime.”

Later this year, in November, Mirrors will be hosting its 12th Community Programme.

However, before then, it will be looking for the support of many more volunteers.

They want 25 people, 21 years or older, to volunteer as members of the Youth Enrolment Team, 44 people, 21 years or older, to volunteer as members of the onsite team and 35 people, 25 years or older, to volunteer as members of the Committed Partner team.

“The Youth Enrolment team is tasked with engaging young people for participation in the programme and building a supportive relationship for a nine-week period as the young adults prepare to attend the residential phase of the programme,” explained Ms Jackson.

“The enrolment volunteers are the gatekeepers. Enrolment volunteers are crucial to the process because they are the young adult’s first experience of the programme. They provide the first look at what this programme could possibly bring forth in the life of a candidate.”

At the end of the nine-week period, young adults are handed over to a new group of volunteers called the Onsite team ahead of the nine-month follow-through phrase.

Ms Jackson said volunteers must be “passionate about young people, have creative ideas, are community minded and have a desire to gain new skills.”

• For more information on volunteer opportunities or Mirrors Programme, contact the Mirrors office on 294-9291, visit their webpage www.mirrors.bm or attend a volunteer orientation in the organisation’s boardroom next Wednesday at 12.15pm on the first floor of Global House, located at 43 Church Street, Hamilton.